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Melbourne’s Orbitkey is the embodiment of start-up success.

 The work of an industrial designer and a former pharmacist, the Orbitkey is an elegant solution to a common and long-endured problem: jangling keys.

 The Orbitkey’s simple design allow keys to be clamped together in a stack, or fanned out for super quick access.  But the road from prototype to Kickstarter campaign to order fulfillment was long and winding, and even took Melbourne-based founders Rex Kuo and Charles Ng to China for three months.

 “When the Kickstarter campaign was running, I realised that things were getting a little bit overwhelming, especially when we promised to deliver a finished product within four months,” says Charles.

 The Orbitkey team ended up raising $210,000 after hitting their initial target of $10,000 on the first day.  No wonder Charles quit his full time industrial design job.

 Refining the design was no walk in the park.  Although Charles and Rex had planned to spend a few weeks in China to flesh out their idea, Charles changed his return flight seven times and the pair ended up staying in Guang Zhou and Shen Zen for three months.

 “One of the biggest challenges in the design process was to come up with a mechanism that works with different number of keys and will not come undone accidentally,” Charles explains.  “It took us a while until we came up with a solution in which the locking tabs in the mechanism drops into a designated slot when locked.  A spring washer was incorporated to keep this locking tab in position but also to allow the user to fasten their stack of keys to the tension level desired.”

 The China stint meant that the pair were able to deliver their product to their Kickstarter backers on schedule – something that 80% of Kickstarter users aren’t able to achieve.

These days team Orbitkey is four people strong – though the founders are still pulling 10-13 hour days most days.

 “Charles and I always joke that Charles cames up with the drawings and I provided the “drugs” to keep the creative juices flowing,” says Rex.

 Even though the guys at Orbitkey “wouldn’t call [themselves] ultra-marathoners or fitness freaks,” their invention has been embraced by and runners of all distances – not to mention commuters and scatterbrains.

 “The project definitely started to solve jangling keys but it’s not only to solve the issue during exercising, but also when carrying keys everywhere…” Rex explains.

 “We’re working towards a goal where Orbitkey will be a leader in the key-carrying world.”



Orbitkeys are available here.